Skip to main content

Full text of "The world beyond, passages from oriental and primitive religions"

See other formats




il',I.;".M't.'. .,•'.> . ;■ .' 

lii- ■r;;Tri.-.l: 






OCT 4 1920 





BL 29 .M6 

Moore, Justin H. b 

The world beyond 





Passages from Oriental 
and Primitive Religions 

BY ^ 


OCT 'i 1920 ' 



Copyright, 1920 







• ♦ 


Sincere acknowledgment and thanks are made to 
many publishers for kind permission to use in this boot 
extracts from copyright publications. The selections 
have been adapted and in part rewritten for the sake 
of clarity and conciseness. A tribute is due also to 
the patient toil of a host of scholars, most of whom 
have now passed away, whose painstaking researches 
have revealed an underlying unity in all the religious 
aspiration of humanity throughout the world. 


Science only serves to widen the horizon of religious 
wonder, and in viewing the records which are pre- 
served of man's religious thought, present even in the 
most primitive tribes, we find traces of mystic aware- 
ness of the spirit of God always near at hand. Thus 
the sayings of the greatest of the mystics, Jesus of 
Nazareth, take on an added significance when they are 
found to accord with the aspirations of many who 
lived before His time and many who followed Him. 
In such unity of purpose in reaching out toward the 
Unseen is the best proof of the brotherhood of man, 
the essential oneness of humanity throughout the ages. 
We hope in subsequent volumes to cull other living 
pages on different religious themes from the mass of 
material now available. 

New York City^ 1^20, 

Justin H. Moore. 




Death a Process of Adaptation and the Price of Sex 15 

The Land of the Dead 18 

Death is Near .20 

Prayer to Osiris for Everlasting Life ... . .22 
Wek-Wek Returns from the Underworld ... 24 

None Shall Abide 27 

When First Separated from the Body . . . .31 

The Various Hells . 34 

Ministers of Evil 3^ 

Karma, the Law of Consequences 41 

When the Body Dies 43 

Hell a State of Mind 45 

Sin Not Fully Realized Until After Death . . 47 

Life Stained by Sin . -49 

Not Everyone Shall Have Eternal Life . . . 51 
Love the Condition of Immortality . . . '53 
The Old Persian Worship ...... 54- 

The Buddha's Rest 57 

Survival of Consciousness 59 

There is no Soul 64 

What the Senses do not Reveal Cannot Exist . . 66 

The Soul Liveth 68 

Faith as a Faculty 7^ 

The Unseen Bond 72 

The Grave is the Curtain of Paradise .... 74 

Omnipresent Yet Elusive 76 

Beyond the Veil 77 




Genius and Inspiration 83 

Escape from the Lesser Self 87 

The Mystery of Sleep . 89 

Sleep 9' 

The Source of Life 93 

The Sacredness of Memory 97 

The Atomic Size of the Soul 100 

What is the Soul ? . 102 

The Keys of the Unseen 104 

The Immanent God 107 

Voices J09 

Love TO One's Neighbor, A Jew 112 

The Spiritual Body 115 

The Holy Spirit 117 

Cosmic Consciousness 120 


Conscious Life 125 

What is Your Life? It is Even as a Vapor . . .128 

Life and Death 131 

A Mohammedan Legend 132 

Nearer to the Source of Life 134 

The Stuff of the World and the Fountain of Cre- 
ation 137 

Omnipresence 139 

The Pulse of Life 142 

The World Beyond 



Death is a Process of Adaptation 
and is the Price of Sex 

Creatures composed of a single cell, protophytes and 
protozoa, algae and unicellular mushrooms, with a 
minimum of differentiation, escape the necessity of 
death. . . . They are infinitely vulnerable, fragile 
and perishable; myriads die at every instant. But 
their death is not ordained by fate. They may suc- 
cumb to accidents, but never to old age. 

Imagine one of these creatures placed in a culture- 
medium favorable to the full exercise of his activities, 
and of large enough extent so as not to be affected by 
the tiny quantities of materials which the animal may 
draw from it or excrete into it. Let it be, for example, 
an infusoria in the ocean. In these invariable sur- 
roundings the creature lives, grows and enlarges in- 
cessantly. When he has attained the limits of size 
fixed by his own specific laws, he divides in two parts 
equal in all respects to each other. He allows one of 
these halves to colonize in his vicinity and himself 



begins again the same evolution all over. There is no 
reason why the transaction should not be indefinitely 
repeated, since nothing has changed either in the sur- 
rounding nor in the animal himself. , . . 

Thus immortality belongs in principle to all the 
protista whose reproduction takes place by means of 
simple and equal division. If we note that these rudi- 
mentary organisms, endowed with perennial existence, 
must be the first living forms that appeared on the 
surface of the globe, and that they doubtless long 
preceded other creatures, the polycellular organisms 
which, on the contrary, had to undergo decay, the 
conclusion to be drawn is very apparent: namely, that 
life long existed without death. Death has been a 
phenomenon of adaptation appearing in the course of 
the ages as a consequence of the evolution of species. 

It may be asked at what moment of the history of 
our globe, at what period in the evolution of fauna, 
this novelty, death, made its appearance. The famous 
experiments of Maupas upon the senescence of in- 
fusoria seems to permit of a precise answer to this 
question. Relying upon these experiments, we may 
say that death must have appeared as a kind of convoy 
along with sexual reproduction. Death became possi- 
ble when this process of generation was established. 


not in all its fullness, but in its humblest beginnings, 
under the rudimentary forms of unequal division and 
conjugation. And this came when the infusoria began 
to people the waters. 

A. Dastre, " I,a Vie et la Mort," p. 336, Paris, 1916. 


The Land of the Dead 

The Aztecs of Mexico belong to the great Nihautl stock of 
Western North America, whose institutions, language and 
aristocracy were well-nigh exterminated by the Spanish con- 
quistadores. Only a few songs and legends have been saved 
from oblivion. 

Weeping, I, the singer, weave my song of flowers, 
of sadness; I call to memory the youths, the shards, 
the fragments, gone to the land of the dead ; once noble 
and powerful here on earth, the youths were dried up 
like feathers, were split into fragments like an emerald, 
before the face and in the sight of those who saw them 
on earth, and with the knowledge of the Cause of All. 

Alas ! alas ! I sing in grief as I recall the children. 

Would that I could turn back again; would that I 

could grasp their hands once more ; would that I could 

call them forth from the land of the dead ; would that 

we could bring them again on earth, that they might 

rejoice and we rejoice, and that they might rejoice and 

delight the Giver of Life; is it possible that we His 



servants should reject Him or should be ungrateful? 
Thus I weep in my heart as I, the singer, review my 
memories, recalling things sad and grievous. 

Would only that I knew they could hear me, there in 
the land of the dead, were I to sing some worthy song. 
Would that I could gladden them, that I could console 
the suffering and the torment of the children. How 
can it be learned? Whence can I draw the inspira- 
tion ? They are not where I may follow them ; neither 
can I reach them with my calling as one here on earth. 

D. G. Brinton, "Ancient Nihuatl Poetry," p. 73. 



Death is Near 

Every Egyptian mummy-case has a pair of eyes painted on 
the exterior so that the wandering ka or soul may return and 
find its previous body. A curious dialogue is extant of a 
misanthrope talking with his soul, some fifteen centuries 
before Job. 

Death is before me today 

Like the recovery of a sick man, 

Like going forth into a garden after sickness. 

Death is before me today 

Like the odor of myrrh, 

Like sitting under the sail on a windy day. 

Death is before me today 

Like the odor of lotus flov^ers, 

Like sitting on the shore of drunkenness. 

Death is before me today 

Like the course of the freshet, 

Like the return of a man from the war-galley to 

his house. 



Death is before me today 
Like the clearing of the sky, 
Like a man fowhng therein toward that which 
he knew not. 

Death is before me today 

As a man longs to see his house 

When he has spent years in captivity. 

J. H. Breasted, " Development of Religion and Thought in 
Ancient Egypt," p. 195, Charles Scribner's Sons, N. Y., 



Prayer to Osiris for Everlasting Life 

At an early date in Egypt, the god Osiris became the friend 
and comforter who would sustain the wraith-like souls in 
the underworld and keep guard over them until the resurrec- 

Homage to thee, O my divine father Osiris, thou 
livest with thy members. Thou didst not decay. 
Thou didst not turn into worms. Thou didst not 
waste away. Thou didst not suffer corruption. Thou 
didst not putrefy. I am the god Khepera, and my 
members shall have an everlasting existence. I shall 
not decay. I shall not rot. I shall not putrefy. I 
shall not turn into worms. I shall not see corruption 
before the eye of the god Shu. I shall have my being, 
I shall have being. I shall live, I shall live. I shall 
flourish, I shall flourish. I shall wake up in peace. 
I shall not putrefy. My inward parts shall not perish. 
I shall not suffer injury. Mine eye shall not decay. 
The form of my visage shall not disappear. Mine ear 
shall not become deaf. My head shall not be sepa- 



rated from my neck. My tongue shall not be carried 
away. My hair shall not be cut off. Mine eyebrows 
shall not be shaved off. No baleful injury shall come 
upon me. My body shall be established, and it shall 
neither crumble away nor be destroyed on this earth. 

E. A. Wallis Budge, "The Literature of tlie 
Ancient Egyptians," p. 55. 


Wek-Wek Returns from the Underworld 

Fifty-four different American Indian languages are known, 
witii various dialects thereof in addition. In civilization the 
American Indians belonged to the Stone Age. The Mewan 
tribe live to-day on government reservations in California. 

After Wek-wek had sent his sister home he stayed 
near the caves below Koo-loo-te and dug holes in the 
sand and found roots and seeds that were good to eat. 
In digging he came to a very deep hole which led down 
under the world ; he went down this hole and when he 
reached the underworld found other people there, 
and got a wife with a little boy. Besides his wife 
there were To-to-kon the Sandhill Crane, Wah-ah the 
Heron, Cha-poo-kah-lah the Blackbird, and others. 

To-to-kon the Sandhill Crane was chief. When he 
saw Wek-wek he said, " What shall we do with this 
man? he is lost; we had better kill him." 

Wek-wek saw a man made ready with his bow and 

arrow, and invited him to come and eat. The man 

came and ate, and when his belly was full went back. 

Captain To-to-kon said, " I didn't send you to eat, 



but to kill him." Then he sent another, and Wek-wek 
asked him also to come and eat, and he did as the other 
had done. Then Captain To-to-kon sent two men to- 
gether to kill him, but Wek-wek called them both to 
come and eat, and they did so. Then To-to-kon was 
angry ; he sent no more men but went himself and took 
his bow and arrow. 

Wek-wek said to him, " Come in," whereupon To- 
to-kon shot his arrow but missed. 

Then Wek-wek came out and faced the people. 
They fired all their arrows but could not kill him. 
Wek-wek said, " You can't kill me with arrows. 
Have you a pot big enough to hold me ? " 

" Yes," they answered. 

" Then set it up and put me in it," he said. 

And they did as they were told and put Wek-wek in 
the hot pot and put the cover on. When he was 
burned they took out the burnt bones and buried them 
in the ground. 

Ah-ut the Crow missed his uncle and went to his 
uncle's partner, Hoo-loo-e, who was in the hole crying, 
and asked where Wek-wek was. Hoo-loo-e pointed 
down the hole. Ah-ut went down and found the 
rancheria of the underworld people and killed them all. 
He then asked Wek-wek's wife where Wek-wek was. 


She answered that the people had burned and buried 

Wek-wek stayed in the ground five days and then 
came to life ; he came out and asked his wife where the 
people were. She told him that Ah-ut had come and 
killed them all. " That is too bad," he exclaimed, '' I 
wanted to show them what kind of man I am." Then 
he said she should stay there and he would take the 
boy and go home. 

She answered, "All right." 

Then he shot his arrow up through the hole and 
caught hold of it, and held the boy also, and the arrow 
carried them both up to the upper world. 

C. Hart Merriam, " Dawn of the World," p. 197, Cleve- 
land, 1910. (Copyright: The Arthur H. Clark Co., by 


None Shall Abide 

In Southern India live the Tamil people who probably are 
descended from an aboriginal race native to that country at 
the time of the great Aryan Invasion from the Northwest (in 
the second millennium B. C). Current to-day are many 
quatrains of great literary beauty, although filled with resig- 
nation and despair. 

The things of which you said, " they stand, they 
stand," stand not ; mark this, and perform what befits, 
yea ! what befits, with all your power ! Your days are 
gone, are gone! and death close pressing on is come, 
is come ! 

When you have gained and hold in hand any single 
thing, retain it not with the thought, " This will serve 
some other day ! " Those who have given betimes 
shall escape the desert road along which death, an un- 
yielding foe, drags his captives away. 

Severed are the ties of friendship; love's bonds are 

loosened too ; then look within and say, what profit is 

there in this joyous life of thine? The cry comes up 

as from a sinking ship ! 



My mother bare me, left me here, and went to seek 
her mother, who in the selfsame manner has gone in 
search ; and thus in ceaseless round goes on the mother- 
quest. Such is the grace this world affords! 

As the measure of your days the shining orb each 
day unfailing rises; so before your joyous days have 
passed away, perform ye fitting deeds of grace; for 
none abide on earth. 

To him, who, although he sees them bear the corpse 
to the burning ground, while friends in troops loudly 
lament, boldly asserts that wedded life is bliss on 
earth, the funeral drum speaks out, and mocks his 
vain utterance. 

When the soul that, taking its stand in this skin- 
clad frame, has fully wrought its works and partaken 
of life's experiences, has gone forth, what matters it 
whether you attach ropes to the body and drag it away, 
or carefully bury it, or throw it aside in any place you 
light upon, or if many revile the departed? 

Like a bubble, that in pelting rain appears full oft, 
and disappears, is this our frame. So sages have 
judged, steadfast in wisdom, and have decided to end 
this dubious strife. On this wide earth who equal 
these ? 

Those whoVe gained and held fast by this well- 


knit frame should take the gain the body they have 
gained is intended to yield. Like a cloud that wan- 
ders over the hills, the body here appears, and abiding 
not, departs leaving no trace behind. 

Considering that all things are transient as the dew- 
drop on the tip of a blade of grass, now, now at once, 
do virtuous deeds ! " Even now he stood, he sat, he 
fell, — while his kindred cried aloud, he died; " such is 
man's history ! 

Unasked men come, appear in the home as kinsmen, 
and then silently go. As the bird silently deserts the 
tree where its nest yet remains, and goes far off, so 
these leave but their body to their friends. 

Though worthless men untaught should fret my soul 
and rave of teeth like jasmine buds and pearls, shall I 
forego my fixed resolve, who have seen in the burning 
ground those bones — the fallen teeth — strewn round 
for all to see? 

The skulls of the dead, at the sight of which the 
gazer fears, with deep cavernous eyes appear, and 
grinning say to those who still survive, " Guard well ! 
In virtue's path stand fast. This is the body's grace 
and worth." 

The skulls of the dead, grinning so as to excite dis- 
gust, cure the vain lovers of life of their folly. Those 


who are cured of this folly, seeing the skulls in the 
burning ground, say " such is this body," and so value 
themselves as nothing. 

G. V. Pope, Naladiyar, " Quatrains in Tamil." 


When First Separated from the Body 

Zoroastrians believe that fire, earth, water and air are 
sacred and therefore not to be polluted by dead bodies. To 
dispose of them, recourse is had to the " Towers of Silence " 
in Bombay, where the bodies are exposed to birds of prey. 
The bones are later collected and restored to the relatives. 

When the dogs and birds tear the corpse does the 
soul know it, and does it occur uncomfortably for it, 
or how is it? 

The reply is this, that the pain occasioned by the 
tearing and gnawing so galls the body of men that, 
though the soul were abiding with the body, such soul, 
which one knows is happy and immortal, would then 
depart from the body, along with the animating life, 
the informing consciousness, arid the remaining re- 
sources of life. 

The body is inert, unmoving, and not to be galled; 
and at last no pain whatever galls it, nor is it perceived ; 
and the soul, with the life, is outside of the body, and 
is not unsafe as regards its gnawing, but through the 
spiritual perception it sees and knows it. 



That which is wicked is then again desirous of its 
bodily existence, and saith: "In my bodily existence 
and worldly progress there was no atonement for sin 
and no accumulation of righteousness and in the pros- 
perity which this body of mine had, it would have been 
possible for me to atone for sin and to save the soul, 
but now I am separated from every one and from the 
joy of the world, which is great hope of spiritual life; 
and I have attained to the perplexing account and more 
serious danger." And the gnawing becomes as griev- 
ous to it, on account of that body, as a closely-shut 
arsenal and a concealed innermost garment are useless 
among those with limbs provided with weapons and 
accoutrements, and are destroyed. 

And the consciousness of men, as it sits three nights 
outside of the body, in the vicinity of the body, has to 
remember and expect that which is truly fear and 
trouble unto the demons, and reward, peace, and glad 
tidings unto the spirits of the good; and, on account 
of the dispersion and injuring of the body, it utters a 
cry spiritually thus: " Why do the dogs and birds gnaw 
this organized body, when still at last the body and 
life unite together at the raising of the dead? " And 
this is the reminding of the resurrection and liberation, 
and it becomes the happiness and hope of the spirit of 


the body and the other good spiiits, and the fear and 
vexation of the demons and fiends. 

The spirit of the body, on account of being the spiri- 
tual life for the heart in the body, is indestructible ; so 
is the will which resided therein, even when they shall 
release it from its abode. 

E. W. West, " Dadistani-Dinik," p. 36. 



The Various Hells 

Hell is a familiar conception to most of the world's relig- 
ious systems. It is found in all possible classifications of 
dreadfulness and generally resembles the Christian hell, save 
that the latter is everlastinis: and, on the whole, hotter. Fol- 
lowing is a typical Hindu passage: 

Now follow the hells. They are called: darkness; 
complete darkness ; a place of howling; a place of much 
howling; a thread of time or death; great hell; a re- 
storing to life; waveless; burning; parching; pressing 
together; ravens; bud; stinking clay; iron-spiked; a 
frying-pan; rough or uneven roads; thorny Salmali 
trees ; a flame river ; a sword-leaved forest ; iron fetters. 

In each of those hells successively criminals in the 
highest degree, who have not performed the penance 
prescribed for their crime, are tormented for an aeon 
of time. 

There they are devoured by dogs and jackals, by 

hawks, crows, herons, cranes, and other carnivorous 



animals, by bears and other animals having fire in their 
mouth, and by serpents and scorpions. 

They are scorched by blazing fire, pierced by thorns, 
divided into parts by saws, and tormented by thirst. 
They are agitated by hunger and by fearful troops of 
tigers, and faint away at every step on account of the 
foul stenches proceeding from pus and from blood. 
Here they are boiled in oil, and there pounded with 
pestles, or ground in iron or stone vessels. Enveloped 
in terrible darkness, they are devoured by worms and 
jackals and other horrible animals having flames in 
their mouth. 

Again they are tormented by frost, or Have to step 
through unclean things such as excrements, or the de- 
parted spirits eat one another, driven to distraction by 

In another place, walking upon thorns, and their 
bodies being encircled by snakes, they are tormented 
with grinding machines, and dragged on by their knees. 

Their backs, heads, and shoulders are fractured, the 
necks of these poor beings are not stouter than a needle, 
and their bodies, of a size fit for a hut only, are unable 
to bear torments. 

Having thus been tormented in the hells and suf- 
fered most acute pain, the sinners have to endure fur- 


ther pangs in their migration through animal bodies. 
Now after having suffered the torments inflicted in the 
hells, the evil-doers pass into animal bodies. Crim- 
inals in the highest degree enter the bodies of all plants 
successively. Mortal sinners enter the bodies of 
worms or insects. Minor offenders enter the bodies 
of birds. 

Criminals in the fourth degree enter the bodies of 
aquatic animals. 

Those who have committed a crime effecting loss of 
caste, enter the bodies of amphibious animals. Those 
who have committed a crime degrading to a mixed 
caste, enter the bodies of deer. Those who have com- 
mitted a crime rendering them unworthy to receive 
alms, enter the bodies of cattle. Those who have com- 
mitted a crime causing defilement, enter the bodies of 
low-caste men such as Kandalas, who may not be 

One who has eaten the food of one whose food may 
not be eaten, or forbidden food, becomes a worm or 
insect. A thief of other property than gold, becomes 
a falcon. One who has appropriated a broad passage, 
becomes a serpent or other animal living in holes. 

One who has stolen grain, becomes a rat. 

One who has stolen water, becomes a water- fowl. 


One who has stolen honey, becomes a gad-fly. 

One who has stolen milk, becomes a crow. 

One who has stolen juice of the sugar-cane or other 
plants, becomes a dog. 

One who has stolen clarified butter, becomes an 

One who has stolen meat, becomes a vulture. 

One who has stolen fat, becomes a cormorant. 

One who has stolen oil, becomes a cockroach. 

(Follows a long list of other thefts and punish- 
ments. ) 

Women, who have committed similar thefts, receive 
the same ignominious punishment ; they become females 
to those male animals. 

J. Jolly, " Institutes of Vishnu," p. 140. 




Ministers of Evil 

The following legendary account of the Master's tempta- 
tion just before his enlightenment under the Bodhi tree is 
taken from the life of Buddha by Asvagosha (first century 
A. D.). Asvagosha was the St. Paul of the Mahayana school 
in which form Buddhism, greatly modified since its founder's 
time, was adopted by China, Korea and Japan, lasting to this 

" Now must I assemble my army-host, and press 
him sore by force." Having thought thus awhile, The 
Tempter's army suddenly assembled round; 

Each severally assumed his own peculiar form ; some 
were holding spears, others grasping swords, others 
snatching up trees, others wielding diamond maces; 
thus were they armed with every sort of weapon; 

Some had heads like hogs, others like fishes, others 
like asses, others like horses; some with forms like 
snakes or like the ox or savage tiger; lion-headed, 
dragon-headed, and like every other kind of beast ; 

Some had many heads on one body-trunk, with faces 



having but a single eye, and then again with many 
eyes; some with great-bellied mighty bodies. And 
others thin and skinny, bellyless; others long-legged, 
mighty-kneed; others big-shanked and fat-calved; 
some with long and claw-like nails. Some were head- 
less, breastless, faceless ; some with two feet and many 
bodies; some with big faces looking every way; some 
pale and ashy-colored. Others were colored like the 
bright rising star, others steaming fiery vapor, some 
with ears like elephants, with humps like mountains, 
some with naked forms covered with hair. Some with 
leather skins for clothing, their faces party-colored, 
crimson and white; some with tiger skins as robes, 
some with snake skins over them. 

Some with tinkling bells around their waists, others 
with twisted screw-like hair, others with hair di- 
shevelled covering the body. 

Others body-snatchers, some dancing and shrieking 
awhile, some jumping onwards with their feet together, 
some striking one another as they went. 

Others waving, wheeling round, in the air, others 
flying and leaping between the trees, others howling, 
or hooting, or screaming, or whining, with their evil 
noises shaking the great earth ; 

Thus this wicked goblin troop encircled on its four 


sides the Bodhi tree ; some bent on tearing his body to 
pieces, others on devouring it whole ; 

From the four sides flames belched forth, and fiery 
steam ascended up to heaven ; tempestuous winds arose 
on every side ; the mountain forests shook and quaked ; 

Wind, fire, and steam, with dust combined, pro- 
duced a pitchy darkness, rendering all invisible. 

Fiercely staring, grinning with their teeth, flying 
tumultuously, bounding here and there; but Bod- 
hisattva (Gotama, before his enlightenment under the 
Tree of Knowledge), silently beholding them, watched 
them as one would watch the games of children. 

S. Beal, " Fo-sho-hing-tsan-king," p. 150. 


Karma, the Law of Consequences 

Karma, the law of consequences, according to Brahman and 
Buddhist, reached into the next world wherein each person 
evolved in high or low station depending on his merits. Since 
human existence is fundamentally evil, the sin of suicide, for 
example, is taught to be especially heinous, because it pro- 
longs the round of rebirths in punishment. But no sin is 
sufficiently wicked to impose the penalty of everlasting life. 

An impending evil cannot be averted even by a hun- 
dred precautions; what reason then for you to com- 

Even as a calf finds his mother among a thousand 
cows, an act formerly done is sure to find the per- 

Of existing beings the beginning is unknown, the 
middle of their career is known, and the end again 
unknown ; what reason then for you to complain ? 

As the body of mortals undergoes successively the 

vicissitudes of infancy, youth, and old age, even so 

will it be transformed into another body hereafter; a 

sensible man is not mistaken about that. 



As a man puts on new clothes in this world, throw- 
ing aside those which he formerly wore, even so the 
self of man puts on new bodies, which are in accord- 
ance with his acts in a former life. 

No weapons will hurt the self of man, no fire burn 
it, no waters moisten it, and no wind dry it up. 

It is not to be hurt, not to be burnt, not to be 
moistened, and not to be dried up; it is imperishable, 
perpetual, unchanging, immovable, without beginning. 

It is further said to be immaterial, passing all 
thought, and immutable. Knowing the self of man to 
be such, you must not grieve for the destruction of his 

J. Jolly, "Institutes of Vishnu," p. 82. 


When the Body Dies 

The Brahmans, unlike the Buddhists, believed in the exist- 
ence of the soul. Each soul was interpenetrated by its karma 
or the heredity of its personal actions. In this sense the 
world beyond was merely the continuation of this present life. 

And then he heaves a very deep and alarming gasp, 
and makes the unconscious body quiver as he goes out 
of it. That soul, dropping out of the body, is sur- 
rounded on both sides by his own actions, his own pure 
and meritorious, as also his sinful ones. Brahmans, 
possessed of knowledge, whose convictions are cor- 
rectly formed from sacred learning, know him by his 
marks as one who has performed meritorious actions 
or the reverse. As those who have eyes see a glow- 
worm disappear here and there in darkness, so likewise 
do those who have eyes of knowledge. Such a soul, 
the pious illuminati see with a divine eye, departing 
from the body, or coming to the birth, or entering into 
a womb. . . . This world is the world of actions, 
where creatures dwell. All embodied selfs, having 



here performed good or evil actions, obtain the fruit. 
It is here they obtain higher or lower enjoyments 
by their own actions. And it is those whose actions 
here are evil, who by their actions go to hell. 

K. T. Telang, "Anugita," p. 239. 



Hell a State of Mind 

The Zoroastrian trinity of thoughts, words and deeds may 
belong to the Good Spirit (Auharmazd) or to the Evil Spirit 
(Aharman). Since humans could guide their own activities 
into either channel, the attainment of heaven and hell was a 
question of mental choice. 

Of hell the first part is that of evil thoughts, the 
second is that of evil words, and the third is that of 
evil deeds. With the fourth step the wicked person 
arrives at that which is the darkest hell ; and they lead 
him forwards to the vicinity of Aharman, the wicked 
one. And Aharman and the demons, thereupon, make 
ridicule and mockery of him thus: "What was thy 
trouble and complaint, as regards Auharmazd and the 
archangels, and the fragrant and joyful heaven, when 
thou approachedst for a sight of us and gloomy hell, 
although we cause thee misery therein and do not pity, 
and thou shalt see misery of long duration?" And, 
afterwards, they execute punishment and torment of 
various kinds upon him. 



There is a place where, as to cold, it is such as that 
of the coldest frozen snow. There is a place where, 
as to heat, it is such as that of the hottest and most 
blazing fire. There is a place where noxious crea- 
tures are gnawing them, just as a dog does the bones. 
There is a place where, as to stench, it is such that 
they stagger about and fall down. And the darkness 
is always such-like as though it is possible for them to 
seize upon it with the hand. 

E. W. West, " Dinai Mainog-i Khirad," pp. 30-32. 


Sin not Ftdly Realized Until After Death 

Underneath the dogmas of the later Zoroastrians, one finds 
a groping consciousness that the individual mind, when freed 
at death from the trammels of selfhood, can better apprehend 
the wide-spreading influence of past sins. 

When he who is righteous passes away, where is the 
place the soul sits the first night, the second, and the 
third; and what does it do? 

The reply is this, that thus it is said, that the soul 
of man, itself the spirit of the body, after passing 
away, is three nights upon earth, doubtful about its own 
position, and in fear of the account ; and it experiences 
terror, distress, and fear. And as it sits it notices 
about its own good works and sin. And the soul, 
which in a manner belongs to that same spirit of the 
body which is alike experiencing and alike touching it, 
becomes acquainted by sight with the sin which it has 
committed, and the good works which it has scantily 

And the first night from its own good thoughts, the 



second night from its good words, and the third night 
from its good deeds it obtains pleasure for the 
soul. . . . 

For the remaining sin it undergoes punishment . . . 
and the evil thoughts, evil v^ords, and evil deeds are 
atoned for; and w^ith the good thoughts, good v^rords, 
and good deeds of its own commendable and pleasing 
spirit it steps forward tmto the supreme heaven, or 
to heaven, or to the ever-stationary of the righteous, 
there where there is a place for it in righteousness. 

To commit no sin is better than retribution and re- 
nunciation of sin. 

E. W. West, " Dadistani-Dinik." pp. 63 and 139. 


Life Stained by Sin 

The after-consequences of evil and the resulting hindrance 
to the soul's progress are beautifully shown in the greatest 
I^atin poem, Vergil's ^neid. 

One Life through all the immense creation runs, 
One Spirit is the moon's, the sea's, the sun's ; 
All forms in the air that fly, on the earth that creep, 
And the unknown nameless monsters of the deep, — 
Each breathing thing obeys one Mind's control. 
And in all substance is a single Soul. 
First to each seed a fiery force is given; 
And every creature was begot in heaven; 
Only their flight must hateful flesh delay 
And gross limbs moribund and cumbering clay. 
So from that hindering prison and night forlorn 
Thy hopes and fears, thy joy and woes are born, 
Who only seest, till death dispart thy gloom, 
The true world glow through crannies of a tomb. 
Nor all at once thine ancient ills decay, 
Nor quite with death thy plagues are purged away; 



In wondrous wise hath the iron entered in, 

And through and through thee is a stain of sin; 

Which yet again in wondrous wise must be 

Cleansed of the fire, aboHshed in the sea; 

Ay, thro' and thro' that soul unclothed must go 

Such spirit-winds as where they list will blow ; — 

O hovering many an age ! for ages bare, 

Void in the void and impotent in air ! 

Then, since his sins unshriven the sinner wait, 

And to each soul that soul herself is Fate, 

Few to heaven's many mansions straight are sped 

Past without blame that Judgment of the dead, 

The most shall mourn till tarrying Time hath 

The extreme deliverance of the airy thought, — 
Hath left unsoiled by fear or foul desire 
The spirit's self, the elemental fire. 
And last to Lethe's stream on the ordered day 
These all God summoneth in great array ; 
Who from that draught reborn, no more shall know 
Memory of past or dread of destined woe. 
But all shall there the ancient pain forgive. 
Forget their life, and will again to live. 

F. W. H. Myers, " Esiays Clawwcal," p. ITS. 



Not Everyone Shall Have Eternal Life 

Contemporary with Luther, lived the greatest mediseval 
reformer of India, the revered Guru Nanak (1469-1538), who 
founded the religion of the Sikhs. Its lofty monotheism 
impressed Hindus and Mohammedans alike. Nanak, like 
Goethe, held that only those possessed of divine knowledge 
could attain the world beyond. 

In the briny unfathomable ocean the fish did not 

recognize the net. 
Why did the clever and beautiful fish have so much 

confidence ? For they were caught and perished. 
Oh, my brethren, death cannot be averted. Like an 

unseen net it hangeth over your heads. 
The vi^hole world is in its toils. Who but the Master 

can bid death begone? 
They who are imbued with the True One, and have 

abandoned worthless mammon, are saved. 
I am a sacrifice unto those who are found true at the 

gate of the True One. 
Death is like the hawk among the birds, or the noose 

of the fowler. 



They whom the Master preserved have been saved ; all 

others are ensnared. 
They who possess not God's name shall be rejected; 

no one will assist them. 
God is the truest of the true; in His High Place only 

truth can dwell. 
They who obey the True One meditate on Him in their 

Even the wicked who obtain divine knowledge from 

the Master can be made pure. 
Make supplication imto Him to unite thee with the 

When man meeteth the Friend he obtaineth happiness 

and the myrmidons of death poison themselves. 
Thou, O God, art the Friend; it is Thou who unitest 

men with Thee. 

M. A. MacaulIflFe, "The Sikh Religion," Vol. 1, 
p. 134, Oxford University Press, 1909. 


Love the Condition of Immortality 

The deep yearning shown in China toward one's ancestors 
led, here and there, toward the conception of love as the bond 
between the living and the dead, whereby communion might 
be possible. 

The rites of mourning are the extreme expression of 
grief and sorrow. The graduated reduction of that 
expression in accordance with the natural changes of 
time and feeling was made by the superior men, mind- 
ful of those to whom we owe our being. 

Calling the soul back is the way in which love re- 
ceives its consummation, and has in it the mind which 
is expressed by prayer. The looking for it to return 
from the dark region is a way of seeking for it among 
the spiritual beings. The turning the face to the north 
springs from the idea of its being in the dark region. 

J. lycggi, " lyi Ki, Texts of Confucianism," pt. 3, p. 167. 



The Old Persian Worship 

In the Avesta, the Zoroastrian bible, it is taught that every 
individual has an immortal counterpart. This ideal, spiritual 
body was called fravashi, rendered "memory" in the following 
poem. These " memories " peopled the world to come. 

We worship the memories of all the holy men and 
holy women whose souls are worthy of sacrifice, whose 
memories are worthy of invocation. 

We worship the memories of all the holy men and 
holy women, our sacrificing to whom makes us good 
in the eyes of God ; of all of those we have heard that 
Zarathustra (i. e. Zoroaster) is the first and best, as 
a follower of God and as a performer of the law. 

We worship the spirit, conscience, perception, soul, 

and memory of men of the primitive law, of the first 

who listened to the teaching of God, holy men and 

holy women, who struggled for holiness; we worship 

the spirit, conscience, perception, soul, and memory 

of our next-of-kin, holy men and holy women, who 

struggled for holiness. 

We worship the men of the primitive law in all 



houses, boroughs, towns, and countries, who obtained 
all the perfections of goodness. 

We worship Zarathustra, the lord and master of all 
the material world, the man of the primitive law; 
wisest of all beings, best-ruling, brightest, most glori- 
ous, most worthy of sacrifice, most worthy of prayer 
and of propitiation, whom we call well-desired and 
worthy of sacrifice and prayer as much as any being 
can be, in the perfection of his holiness. 

We worship this earth ; 

We worship those heavens ; 

We worship those good things that stand between 
the earth and the heavens and that are worthy of 
sacrifice and prayer and are to be worshipped by the 
faithful man. 

We worship the souls of the wild beasts and of the 

We worship the souls of the holy men and women, 
born at any time, whose consciences struggle, or will 
struggle, or have struggled, for the good. 

We worship the spirit, conscience, perception, soul, 
and memory of the holy men and holy women who 
struggle, will struggle, or have struggled, and teach 
the Law, and who have struggled for holiness. 

The memories of the faithful, awful and overpower- 


ing, awful and victorious; the memories of the men of 
the primitive law; the memories of the next-of-kin; 
may these memories come satisfied into this house; 
may they walk satisfied through this house ! 

May they, being satisfied, bless this house and leave 
it satisfied! May they carry back from here hymns 
and worship to the Maker, and the Good Spirits! 
May they not leave this house of us, the worshippers 
of God, complaining! 

I bless the sacrifice and prayer, and the strength and 
vigor of the awful, overpowering memories of the 
faithful; of the memories of the men of the primitive 
law; of the memories of the next-of-kin. 

Give unto us brightness and glory, . . . give 
us the bright, all-happy, blissful abode of the holy 

J. Darmesteter, " Favardin yast, The Zend-Avesta," 
pt. 2, 228. 



The Buddha's Rest 

At the age of eighty, India's greatest religious teacher 
passed away (probably about 483 B. C.) and was cremated. 
He went to no world beyond, it is believed, because he had 
attained Nirvana or extinction of desire. 

When the Blessed One died, Sakka, at the moment 
of his passing away from existence, uttered this stanza: 

TheyVe transient all, each being's parts and powers, 
Growth is their nature, and decay. 
They are produced, they are dissolved again ; 
And then is best, when they have sunk to rest ! 

When the Blessed One died, the venerable Anu- 
ruddha, at the moment of his passing away from ex- 
istence, uttered these stanzas: 

When he who from all craving want was free, 
Who to Nirvana's tranquil state had reached, 
When the great sage finished his span of life. 
No gasping struggle vexed that steadfast heart ! 



All resolute, and with unshaken mind. 
He calmly triumphed o'er the pain of death. 
E'en as a bright flame dies away, so was 
His last deliverance from the bonds of life! 

T. W. Rhys Davids, " Maha-parinibbana sutta,** p. 117. 


Survival of Consciousness 

The godlessnpss of the Hinayana school of Buddhism led 
to the founding of the Mahayana school, which has proved 
far more vital. It is interesting that the Milinda-panha or 
" Questions of King Milinda " is the only Mahayana book 
which is held in reverence by orthodox members of the older 

The king said : " He who is born, Nagasena, does he 
remain the same or become another? " 

" Neither the same nor another." 

" Give me an illustration." 

" Now what do you think, O king? You were once 
a baby, a tender thing, and small in size, lying flat on 
your back. Was that the same as you who are now 
grown up ? " 

" No. That child was one, I am another." 

"If you are not that child, it will follow that you 
have had neither mother nor father, no! nor teacher. 
You cannot have been taught either learning, or be- 
havior, or wisdom. What, great king! is the mother 

of the embryo in the first stage different from the 



mother of the embryo in the second stage, or the third, 
or the fourth ? Is the mother of the baby a different 
person from the mother of the grown-up man? Is 
the person who goes to school one, and the same when 
he has finished his schooling another ? Is it one who 
commits a crime, another who is punished by having 
his hands or feet cut off? " 

" Certainly not. But what w^ould you. Sir, say to 

The Elder replied: *' I should say that I am the same 
person, now I am grown up, as I was when I was a 
tender tiny baby, flat on my back. For all these states 
are included in one by means of this body." 

" Give me an illustration." 

" Suppose a man, O king, were to light a lamp, 
would it burn the night through? " 

" Yes, it might do so." 

" Now, is it the same flame that burns in the first 
watch of the night, Sir, and in the second ? " *' No." 

"Or the same that burns in the second watch and in 
the third?" "No." 

" Then is there one lamp in the first watch and an- 
other in the second, and another in the third ? " 

" No. The light comes from the same lamp all the 
night through." 


" Just so, O king, is the continuity of a person or 
thing maintained. One comes into being, another 
passes away; and the rebirth is, as it were, simul- 
taneous. Thus neither as the same nor as another 
does a man go on to the last phase of his self-con- 
sciousness. It is like milk, which when once taken 
from the cow, turns, after a lapse of time, first to 
curds, and then from curds to butter, and then from 
butter to ghee. Now would it be right to say that the 
milk was the same thing as the curds, or the butter, or 
the ghee?'' 

" Certainly not ; but they are produced out of it.'* 

" Just so is the continuity of a person or thing main- 
tained. One comes into being, another passes away; 
and the rebirth is, as it were, simultaneous. Thus 
neither as the same nor as another does a man go on to 
the last phase of his self-consciousness." 

The king then asked: "He who has intelligence, 
has he also wisdom? " 

" Yes, great king." 

" What ; are they both the same ? " 

" Yes.'' 

" Then would he, with his intelligence — which, you 
say, is the same as wisdom — be still in bewilderment 
or not?" 


" In regard to some things, yes ; in regard to others, 


" What would he be in bewilderment about ? " 

** He would still be in bewilderment as to those 
parts of learning he had not learnt, as to those coun- 
tries he had not seen, and as to those names or terms 
he had not heard." 

" And wherein would he not be In bewilderment ? '* 

"As regards that which has been accomplished by 
insight — (the perception, that is,) of the imperma- 
nence of all beings, of the suffering inherent in indi- 
viduality, and of the non-existence of any soul." 

" Then what would have become of his delusions on 
those points ? " 

" When intelligence has once arisen, that moment 
delusion has died away." 

" Give me an illustration." 

" It is like the lamp, which when a man has brought 
into a darkened room, then the darkness would vanish 
away, and light would appear." 

"And what, Nagasena, on the other hand, has then 
become of his wisdom? " 

" Wlien the reasoning wisdom has affected that 
which it has to do, then the reasoning ceases to go on. 
But that which has been acquired by means of it re- 


mains, — the knowledge, to wit, of the impermanence 
of every being, of the suffering inherent in individu- 
ahty, and of the absence of any soul." 

" Give me an illustration, reverend Sir, of what you 
have last said." 

" It is as when a man wants, during the night, to 
send a letter, and after having his clerk called, has a 
lamp lit, and gets the letter written. Then, when that 
has been done, he extinguishes the lamp. But though 
the lamp had been put out the writing would still be 
there. Thus does reasoning cease, and knowledge re- 


T. W. Rhys Davids, "Questions of King 
Milinda," pt. 1, p. 65. 




There is no Soul 

In the same historical romance is also seen how the later 
Buddhists wrestled with the theological doctrine of trans- 
migration, whose evils lead to the postulate that there is no 

The king said : " Where there is no transmigration, 
Nagasena, can there be rebirth ? " 

" Yes, there can." 

*' But how can that be ? Give me an illustration." 

" Suppose a man, O king, were to light a lamp from 
another lamp, can it be said that the one transmigrates 
from, or to, the other?** 

" Certainly not.'* 

" Just so, great king, is rebirth without transmigra- 
tion. Do you recollect having learnt, when you were 
a boy, some verse or other from your teacher ? ** 

" Yes, I recollect that.*' 

" Well, then, did that verse transmigrate from your 




" Certainly not." 

" Just so, great king, is rebirth without transmigra- 

" Very good, Nagasena ! " 

The king said : " Is there such a thing, Nagasena, 
as the soul ? " 

" In the highest sense, O king, there is no such 

" Very good, Nagasena ! " 

T. W. Rhys Davids, "Question! of King 
Milinda," pt. 1, p. 111. 



What the Senses do not Reveal Cannot Exist 

In Jainism, originating at the same time as Buddhism, and 
adhered to to-day by a million five hundred thousand people, 
the same negation of the soul is proclaimed. 

The whole soul lives ; when this body is dead, it does 
not live. It lasts as long as the body lasts, it does not 
outlast the destruction of the body. With the body, 
ends life. Other men carry the corpse away to burn 
it. When it has been consumed by fire, only dove- 
colored bones remain, and the four bearers return with 
the hearse to their village. Therefore there is and 
exists no soul different from the bod v. Those who 
believe that there is and exists no such soul speak the 
truth. Those who maintain that the soul is something 
different from the body, cannot tell whether the soul 
as separated from the body is long or small, whether 
globular or circular or triangular or square or sex- 
agonal or octagonal or long, whether black or blue or 

red or yellow or white, whether of sweet smell or of 



bad smell, whether bitter or pungent or astringent or 

sour or sweet, whether hard or soft or heavy or light 

or cold or hot or smooth or rough. Those, therefore, 

who believe that there is and exists no soul, speak the 


H. Jacobi, " Sutrakritanga," p. 340. 


The Soul Liveth 

A possible reason v/hy Buddhism lost its hold on India was 
because it went counter to the deep-seated instinct that there 
is a soul. The latter belief animates the Bhagavadgita, a poem 
(probably antedating the Buddha) sung to-day by millions. 

As a man, casting off old clothes, puts on others 
and new ones, so the embodied self casting off old 
bodies, goes to others and new ones. Weapons do not 
divide it into pieces; fire does not burn it; waters do 
not moisten it ; the wind does not dry it up. It is not 
divisible; it is not combustible; it is not to be moist- 
ened; it is not to be dried up. It is everlasting, all- 
pervading, stable, firm, and eternal. It is said to be 
unperceived, to be unthinkable, to be unchangeable. 
Therefore knowing it to be such, you ought not to 
grieve. But even if you think that it is constantly 
born, and constantly dies, still, you ought not to grieve 
thus. For to one that is born, death is certain ; and to 
one that dies, birth is certain. Therefore about this 
unavoidable thing you ought not to grieve. One looks 

upon the self as a wonder ; another similarly speaks of 



it as a wonder; another too hears of it as a wonder; 
and even after having heard of it, no one does really 
know it. This embodied self within every one's body 
is ever indestructible. Therefore you ought not to 
grieve for any being. 

K. T. Telang, " Bhagavadgita," p. 45. 



Faith as a Faculty 

To the Persian mystics the soul was the flame of everlasting 
life, kindled by the creator of the human faculties. By its 
light, one can see beyond the veil. 

He that is born blind believes not what you say of 

Though you show him instances and proofs for a 


White and yellow and red and dark and light green 

Are to him naught but darkest black. 

See the evil plight of one blind from his birth, 

Can he ever gain sight from the physician's eye salve? 

Reason cannot see the state of the world to come, 

As a man born blind cannot see things in this world. 

But in addition to reason man has a certain faculty, 

Whereby he perceives hidden mysteries. 

Like fire in flint and steel, 

God has placed this faculty in man's soul and body ; 

When that flint and steel are struck together, 

The two worlds are illumined by the flash ! 



From that collision is this mystery made clear, 
Now you have heard it, go and attend to your Self. 
Your Self is a copy made in the image of God, 
Seek in your Self all that you desire to know. 

E. H. Whinfield, " Gulshan i Raz of Shabistari," p. 44. 

He bringeth forth the living out of the dead, and He 
bringeth forth the dead out of the living; and He 
quickeneth the earth after its death. Thus it is that 
ye too shall be brought forth. 

J. M. Rodwell, " Koran," Surah 30, 18. 

He giveth wisdom to whom He will; and he to 
whom wisdom is given, hath much good given unto 
him; but none will bear it in mind, except those gifted 
with understanding hearts. 

J. M. Rodwell, •' Koran," Surah 2, 272. 


The Unseen Bond 

Under the name of Amon, the Egyptians worshipped the 
holy spirit that pulses behind each individual soul both now 
and in the world beyond. 

Praise to Amon ! 

I make hymns in his name, 

I give to him praise, 

To the height of heaven, 

And the breadth of earth ; 

I tell of his prowess 

To him who sails down-stream, 

And to him who sails up-stream. 

Beware of him! 

Repeat it to son and daughter. 

To great and small, 

Tell it to generation after generation. 

Who are not yet born. 

Tell it to the fishes in the stream, 

To the birds in the sky, 



Repeat it to him who knoweth it not 
And to him who knoweth it. 

Thou, O Amon, art the lord of the silent, 
Who cometh at the cry of the poor. 
When I cry to thee in my affliction. 
Then thou comest and savest me. 
That thou mayest give breath to him who is 

bowed down, 
And mayest save me lying in bondage. 
Thou, Amon-Re, Lord of Thebes, art he, 
Who saveth him that is in the Nether World. 
When men cry unto thee, 
Thou art he that cometh from afar. 

J. H. Breasted, " Development of Religion and 
Thought in Ancient Egypt/' p. 350. 


The Grave is the Curtain of Paradise 

Greatest of the Sufis, the Persian religious mystics, was 
Jelaruddin Rumi (1207-1273), to whom his passionate friend, 
Shamsi Tabriz, personified the Divine Beloved. Like Plotinus, 
Jelal in the following lines holds that death means the 
achievement of perfect union. 

When my bier moveth on the day of death, 

Think not my heart is in this world. 

Do not weep for me and cry " Woe, woe ! '* 

Thou wilt fall in the devil's snare: that is woe. 

When thou seest my hearse, cry not " Parted, parted ! " 

Union and meeting are mine in that hour. 

If thou commit me to the grave, say not " Farewell, 

farewell ! " 
For the grave is a curtain hiding the communion of 


After beholding descent, consider resurrection; 

Why should setting be injurious to the sun and moon? 

To thee it seems a setting, but 'tis a rising; 

Tho' the vault seems a prison, 'tis the release of the 




What seed went down into the earth but it grew ? 
Why this doubt of thine as regards the seed of man? 
What bucket was lowered but it came out brimful? 
Shut th}^ mouth on this side and open it beyond, 
For in placeless air will be thy triumphal song. 

R. A. Nicholson, " Divani Shamsi Tabriz," p. 9S. 


Omnipresent yet Elusive 

Curiously parallel with Persian mysticism is the Chinese 
doctrine of the Perfect Tao, — The Way of God. Laotzc 
(born about 604 B. C.) taught the importance of this immortal 
spirit of guidance. 

The grandest forms of active force 

From Tao come, their only source. 

Who can of Tao the nature tell ? 

Our sight it flies, our touch as well. 

Eluding sight, eluding touch, 

The forms of things all in it crouch; 

Eluding touch, eluding sight, 

There are their semblances, all right. 

Profound it is, dark and obscure ; 

Things' essences all there endure. 

Those essences the truth enfold 

Of what, when seen, shall then be told. 

Now it is so ; 'twas so of old. 

Its name — what passes not away! 

So, in their beautiful array, 

Things form and never know decay. 

J. Legge, *' Tao Teh King, Texts of Taoism," pt. 
1, p. 64. 




Beyond the Veil 

One of the disciples of Plotinus (205-270 A. D.) after his 
death went to the oracle of Delphi to inquire "where was now 
Plotinus' soul?" The answer came through the Pythian 
priestess, who prophesied while in a kind of hypnotic trance. 
This poem is one of the most earnest utterances of antiquity. 

Pure spirit — once a man — pure spirits now 

Greet thee rejoicing, and of these art thou ; 

Not vainly was thy whole soul alway bent 

With one same battle and one the same intent 

Through eddying cloud and earth's bewildering roar 

To win her bright way to that stainless shore. 

Ay, *mid the salt spume of this troublous sea, 

This death in life, this sick perplexity. 

Oft on thy struggle through the obscure unrest 

A revelation opened from the Blest — 

Showed close at hand the goal thy hope would win, 

Heaven's kingdom round thee and thy God within. 

So sure a help the eternal Guardians gave. 

From life's confusion so were strong to save, 



Upheld thy wandering steps that sought the day 
And set them steadfast on the heavenly way. 
Nor quite even here on thy broad brows was shed 
The sleep which shrouds the living, who are dead ; 
Once by God's grace was from thine eyes unfurled 
This veil that screens the immense and whirling world, 
Once, while the spheres around thee in music ran. 
Was very Beauty manifest to man; — 
Ah, once to have seen her, once to have known her 

For speech too sweet, for earth too heavenly fair ! 
But now the tomb where long thy soul had lain 
Bursts, and thy tabernacle is rent in twain ; 
Now from about thee, in thy new home above. 
Has perished all but life, and all but love, — 
And on all lives and on all loves outpoured 
Free grace and full, a Spirit from the Lord, 
High in that heaven whose windless vaults enfold 
Just men made perfect, and an age all gold. 
Thine own Pythagoras is with thee there, 
And sacred Plato in that sacred air, 
And whoso followed, and all high hearts that knew 
In death's despite what deathless Love can do. 
To God's right hand they have scaled the starry way — 
Pure spirits these, thy spirit pure as they. 


Ah saint! how many and many an anguish past, 
To how fair haven art thou come at last ! 
On thy meek head what Powers their blessing pour, 
Filled full with life, and rich for evermore! 

F. W. H. Myers, " Essays Classical," p. 98. 

The Higher Knowledge 


Genius and Inspiration 

If reflection had to seek for the spiritual elements 
capable of mutually entwining themselves for the out- 
growing expression of the master idea, then a work 
of art would be impossible. Consciousness does not 
shed its rays over the whole mind; it is not a distinct 
light of thought that enables one at will to find what 
is sought after, as in some treasure house of imagery 
and ideas. Consciousness is not a creative power; 
rather it is thought self -beholden and standing apart 
as witness of what is spontaneously wrought. The 
mind is a living thing composed of spiritual elements. 
The idea to which it may give itself is not distinguish- 
able from the mind, — subject and object seeming as 
one ; for as long as the mind cherishes this idea desir- 
ing it to the exclusion of all others, just so long the 
idea is the mind. 

Life is action in accord, the concert of all the move- 
ments accomplished in the organism. To live is to 



create and maintain the living form. By the sole fact 
that the mind continues to live and tends to organize 
itself, the idea, which is imposed by love for it and by 
the will, groups all ideas and fancies that can enter 
with the master-idea into the unity of some one con- 
sciousness, into the unity of a perfect spiritual form. 
Little by little, living only from its inner life, this idea 
develops, becomes involute and richly diversified, 
represents itself at length in the substance of pictures 
which are its realization. Such a work is spontaneous, 
often surprising consciousness with its unexpected re- 
sults. The will, tired by vain efforts, grows lax. Yet 
the impulse given by it continues. In silence life seems 
to commune more freely. All at once the pictures so 
long, so vainly sought, invade one's consciousness. 
An artist's first sentiment before his own handiwork 
IS surprise. To him It seems as if the work had done 
itself with his participation, — that he received it, rather 
than gave It to himself. In repose, born out of the 
very excess of effort, the idea with a sudden surge had 
risen again into consciousness, enriched with new 
pictures. Genius is a grace from above, and its work- 
ings are like a prayer that is granted. Gladly the 
poets speak of God inspiring them, of the torments of 
soul which gain this favor, of the joy, when, envaded 


by a more puissant personality, and having them- 
selves become the Very God who dictates to them his 
thoughts, they no longer feel themselves distinguish- 
able apart from the beauty they create. . . . 

Inspiration is life, freer, more abundant; in some 
people more quickly concentrated, in others at first 
hindered, distracted, as if divided against itself; more 
or less requiring the imperious summons of the will; 
but in the hour of creation it is always life gushing 
forth, flowing brimmingly, joyously mounting to fill 
some work of art with her potent ichor. Very rarely 
does it happen that the entire mind is involved in some 
single act; more commonly are its powers divided or 
in opposition. Reflection is applied in due course to 
the various elements which are sought to be coordi- 
nated. Reflection brings these together and compares 
them. The mind does not live all its life at once, it is 
as it acts, by fragments, of an incomplete and divided 
life. In inspiration, when, under the action of the 
will, the idea has little by little stirred the mind to its 
very depths, all faculties, as if now in accord, resound 
in unison. . . . The mind exists entire, living all 
its life at once. Ideas call each other, and make an- 
swer; in their train comes soon the troop of picture- 
shapes that express them; all that can enter into the 


unity of this living action presents and disposes of 
itself because of the sole fact that all elements, obey- 
ing their own free impulses, group themselves accord- 
ing to the harmonious laws of life. The joy of the 
artist in the moment of inspiration is the joy of loving 
and feeling at once all his forces and of finding for an 
instant in this perfect accord of the inner being, the 
illusion of a divine life. . . . 

Genius is mental health . . . it is life itself; it 
is the mind no longer attaching itself to any idea with- 
out the latter's becoming immediately the principle of 
a vital movement . . . it is the mind disengaging 
itself from the diversity of confused ideas by the fact 
solely that they live in it the unity which commands 

Inspiration is defined by life, is not outside of nature, 
but is rather the return to nature of a mind developed 
by effort and reflection. 

G. Seailles, " Essai sur le genie dans Tart," p. 172. 


Escape from the Lesser Self 

Fasusu'l Hikan says: "While men of externals believe that 
there is nothing in existence but what is visible to sight, 
interior men hold that much is veiled from outer sight, which 
can only be seen through a near approach to God and a close 
communion with His omnipresent Spirit." In the Masnavi 
of Jalal'uddin Rumi also there runs a conviction that religion 
is the path to a Higher Knowledge. 

The sharpest thorns are welcome, as the roseleaf 

To finite who to th' Infinite can soar aloft. 
What signifies to glorify the Lord of heaven; 
To humble self to dust; with meekness, pride to 

heaven ? 
What use to learn to formulate God's unity ; 
What use to bow one's self before the Deity? 
Wouldst shine as brilliantly in sight of all ? 
Annihilate thy darksome self, — thy being's pall. 
Let thy existence in God's essence be enrolled. 
As copper in alchemist's bath is turned to gold. 



Quit " I " and " We," which o'er thy heart exert 

'Tis egotism, estranged from God, that clogs thy 


J. W. Redhouse, " Mcsnevi," p. 217. 


The Mystery of Sleep 

Earliest man was puzzled by the dream-state of conscious- 
ness. Sleep, or possibly the occasional experience of a dual 
personality, led to higher speculations regarding the nature of 

And there are two states for that person, the one 
here in this world, the other in the other world, and as 
a third an intermediate state, the state of sleep. When 
in that intermediate state, he sees both those states to- 
gether, the one here in this world, and the other in the 
other world. Now whatever his admission to the 
other world may be, having gained that admission, he 
sees both the evils and the blessings. 

And when he falls asleep, then after having taken 
away with him the material from the whole world, 
destroying and building it up again, he sleeps by his 
own light. In that state the person is self-illuminated. 

There are no real chariots in that state, no horses, 

no roads, but he himself sends forth chariots, horses, 

and roads. There are no blessings there, no happiness, 

no joys, but he himself sends forth blessings, happi- 



ness, and joys. There are no tanks there, no lakes, 
no rivers, but he himself sends forth tanks, lakes, and 
rivers. He indeed is the maker. 

On this there are these verses: 

After having subdued by sleep all that belongs to 
the body, he, not asleep himself, looks down upon the 
sleeping senses. Having assumed light, he goes again 
to his place, the golden person, the lonely bird. 

Guarding with the breath the lower nest, the im- 
mortal moves away from the nest; that immortal one 
goes wherever he likes, the golden person, the lonely 

Going up and down in his dream, the god makes 
manifold shapes for himself, either rejoicing together 
with women, or laughing with his friends, or seeing 
terrible sights. 

People may see his playground, but himself no one 
ever sees. Therefore they say, " Let no one wake a 
man suddenly, for it is not easy to remedy, if he does 
not get back rightly to his body." 

Max Miiller, " Brihadaranyaka-upanishad," p. 164. 



In the Koran the view prevails that the human mind derives 
its energy and tone from God. "He giveth to his beloved 
(in) sleep." Supra-sensuous were Mohammed's own visions 
and inspirations. 

God takes to Himself souls at the time of their 
death; and those which do not die He takes in their 
sleep; and He holds back those on whom He has de- 
creed death, and sends others back till their appointed 
time; — verily, in that are signs unto a people who 


E. H. Palmer, " Qur'an " (Koran), pt. 2, p. 186. 

Whatever is in the Heavens and in the earth is 
God's ; and whether ye disclose what is in your minds 
or conceal it, God will reckon with you for it; and 
whom He pleaseth will He forgive, and whom He 
pleaseth will He punish ; for God is All-powerful. 

The Apostle believeth in that which hath been sent 

down from his Lord, as do the faithful also. Each 

one believeth in God and His angels and His scriptures 



and His Apostles: We make no distinction between 
any of His Apostles. And they say, " We have heard 
and we obey. Thy mercy, Lord, for unto Thee must 
we return." 

J. M. Rodwell, " Koran," Surah t, 285-286. 


The Source of Life 

After much schooling, Svetaketu returned home puffed up 
with new knowledge. Gently his father Uddalaka dispelled 
his conceit by revealing the mystery of sentient life. 

The Sage said to his son Svetaketu: " Learn from 
me the true nature of sleep. When a man sleeps here, 
then, my dear son, he becomes united with the True, he 
is gone to his own Self. 

" As a bird when tied by a string flies first in every 
direction, and finding no rest anywhere, settles down 
at last on the very place where it is fastened, exactly in 
the same manner, my son, that living Self in the mind, 
after flying in every direction, and finding no rest any- 
where, settles down on breath; for indeed, my son, 
mind is fastened to breath. . . . 

" As the bees make honey by collecting the juices of 
distant trees, and reduce the juice into one form, 

"And as these juices have no discrimination, so that 
they might say, I am the juice of this tree or that, in 
the same manner, my son, all these creatures, when 



they have become merged in the True, either in deep 
sleep or in death, know not that they are merged in the 

" Whatever these creatures are here, whether a Hon, 
or a wolf, or a boar, or a worm, or a midge, or a gnat, 
or a mosquito, that they become again and again. 

" Now that which is that subtile essence, in it all 
that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, 
and thou, O Svetaketu, art it." 

" Please, Sir, inform me still more," said the son. 

" Be it so, my child," the father replied. 

"If some one were to strike at the root of this large 
tree here, it would bleed, but live. If he were to strike 
at its stem, it would bleed, but live. If he were to 
strike at its top, it would bleed, but live. Pervaded by 
the living Self that tree stands firm, drinking in its 
nourishment and rejoicing. But if the live, the living 
Self, leaves one of its branches, that branch withers; 
if it leaves a second, that branch withers ; if it leaves a 
third, that branch withers. If it leaves the whole tree, 
the whole tree withers. Thus the human body indeed 
withers and dies when the living Self has left it; the 
living Self dies out. That which is that subtile es- 
sence, in it all that exists has its self. It is the True. 
It is the Self, and thou, Svetaketu, art it." 


" Please, Sir, inform me still more," said the son. 

" Be it so, my child," the father replied. " Fetch 
me from thence a fruit of the Nyagrodha tree." 

" Here is one. Sir." 

" Break it." 

" It is broken. Sir." 

" What do you see there? " 

** These seeds, almost infinitesimal." 

" Break one of them. What do you see there? " 

" Not anything, Sir." 

The father said : " My son, that subtile essence 
which you do not perceive there, of that very essence 
this great Nyagrodha tree exists. That which is the 
subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. It is 
the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, art it. 
Place this salt in water, and then wait on mc in the 

The son did as he was commanded. 

The father said to him: " Bring me the salt, which 
you placed in the water last night." 

The son having looked for it, found it not, for, of 
course, it was melted. 

The father said: " Taste it from the surface of the 
water. How is it ? " 

The son replied: " It is salt" 


" Taste it from the middle. How is it? " 

The son repHed: " It is salt." 

" Taste it from the bottom. How is it? " 

The son replied: " It is salt." 

Then the father said: " Here also, in this body, for- 
sooth, you do not perceive the True, my son ; but there 
indeed it is. That which is the subtile essence, in it all 
that exists has its self. It is the True. It is the Self, 
and thou, O Svetaketu, art it." 

" Please, Sir, inform me still more," said the son. 

" Be it so, my child," the father replied. " If a man 
is ill, his relatives assemble round him and ask: Dost 
thou know me? Dost thou know me? Now as long 
as his speech is not merged in his mind, his mind in 
breath, breath in heat, heat in the Highest Being, he 
knows them. But when his speech is merged in his 
mind, his mind in breath, breath in heat, heat in the 
Highest Being, then he knows them not. That which 
is the subtile essence, in it all that exists has its self. 
It is the True. It is the Self, and thou, O Svetaketu, 
art it." 

Max Miiller, " Khandogya-upanishad," p. 98 flf. 


The Sacredness of Memory 

In the same Khandagya-upanishad another sage, Sanat- 
kumara, discourses to his pupil, Narada, of the sacred lore 
that even to-day in India is passed on from generation to 

Said a venerable sage to his pupil : 

** He v^ho meditates on memory as God, is, as it 
were, lord and master as far as memor>^ reaches — he 
who meditates on memory as God." 

" Sir, is there something better than memory ? *' 

" Yes, there is something better than memory." 

'* Sir, tell it me." 

" Hope is better than memory. Fired by hope does 
memory read the sacred hymns, perform sacrifices, de- 
sire sons and cattle, desire this world and the other. 
Meditate on hope. He who meditates on hope as God, 
all his desires are fulfilled by hope, his prayers are not 
in vain ; he is, as it were, lord and master as far as hope 
reaches — he who meditates on hope as God." 

" Tell me, Sir, is there something better than hope? " 



** Yes, spirit is better than hope. As the spokes of a 
wheel hold to the nave, so does all this, beginning with 
names and ending in hope, hold to spirit. Father 
means spirit, mother is spirit, brother is spirit, sister is 
spirit. When one understands the True, then one de- 
clares the True. One who does not understand it, does 
not declare the True. Only he who understands it, 
declares the True. This understanding, however, \ye 
must desire to understand. When one perceives, then 
one understands. One who does not perceive, does 
not understand. Only he who perceives, understands. 
This perception, however, we must desire to under- 

" Sir, I desire to understand it." 

" When one believes, then one perceives. One wKo 
does not believe, does not perceive. Only he who be- 
lieves, perceives. The Infinite is bliss. There is no 
bliss in anything finite. Infinity only is bliss. This 
Infinity, however, we must desire to understand." 

" Sir, I desire to understand it." 

" Where one sees nothing else, hears nothing else, 
understands nothing else, that is the Infinite. Where 
one sees something else, hears something else, under- 
stands something else, that is the finite. The Infinite 
is immortal, the finite is mortal. . . . The Infinite 


indeed is below, above, behind, before, right and left — 
it is indeed all this. Now follows the explanation of 
the Infinite as the I ; I am below, I am above, I am be- 
hind, before, right and left — I am all this. 

" Next follows the explanation of the Infinite as the 
Self; Self is below, above, behind, before, right and 
left — Self is all this. He who sees, perceives, and 
understands this, loves the Self, delights in the Self, 
revels in the Self, rejoices in the Self — he becomes a 
master of himself.** 

Max Miiller, " Khandogya-upanishad," p. 119. 


The Atomic Size of the Soul 

The Vedanta philosophy forms the basis of modem The- 
osophy and has not a little in common with New Thought 
and Christian Science. Its most revered commentator was 
Sankara (lived about 800 A. D.), who may be called the St. 
Augustine of Brahmanism. Suggestive and typical is hii 
speculation regarding the nature of the soul. 

And on account of the two latter {i. e., going and 
returning) being connected with their Self (i. e., the 
agent), the soul is of atomic size. 

We admit that " passing out " might possibly be at- 
tributed to the soul even if it does not move, namely, 
if that expression be taken to mean the soul's ceasing 
to be the ruler of the body, in consequence of the re- 
sults of its former actions having become exhausted; 
just as somebody when ceasing to-be the ruler of a 
village may be said to " go out." But the two latter 
activities, namely, going and returning, are not possible 
in the case of something v/hich does not move; for they 
are both connected with the own Self of the agent, 



going and coming back being activities abiding in the 
agent. Now going and coming are possible for a be- 
ing that is not of medium size, only if it is of atomic 
size. And as going and coming must be taken in their 
literal sense, we conclude that the passing out also 
means nothing but the soul's actual moving out of the 
body. For the soul cannot go and return without first 
having moved out of the body. Moreover certain 
parts of the body are mentioned as the points from 
which the soul starts in passing out, for instance, in the 
following scripture passage, " Either from the eye or 
from the skull or from other places of the body the 
Self passes out." Other passages mention that the 
embodied soul goes and comes within the body also; 
so, for instance, " He taking with him those elements 
of light descends into the heart ; Having assumed light 
he again goes to his place." Thereby the atomic size 
of the soul is established as well. 

Geo. Thibaut, " Vedanta-sutras/* pt. 2, p. 36. 



What is the Soulf 

Like an atom, the soul, say the Upanishads, is not to be ap- 
prehended in a materialistic way. Like energy it is everlast- 
ing. Like ether it permeates and forms the substratum of 
the body. 

As large as all space is, so large is that spiritual es- 
sence within the heart. Both heaven and earth are 
contained within it, both fire and air, both sun and 
moon, both hghtning and stars ; and whatever there is 
of him, the Self, here in the world, and whatever Is 
not, namely, whatever has been or will be, all that is 
contained within it. 

By the old age of the body this spiritual essence does 
not age; by the death of the body, it is not killed. 
This inner essence, not the body itself, is the true man- 
sion of God. In it all desires are contained. It is the 
Self, free from sin, free from old age, from death and 
grief, from hunger and thirst, which desires nothing 
but what it ought to desire, and imagines nothing but 
what it ought to imagine. Now as here on earth peo- 



pie follow as they are commanded, and depend on the 
object which they are attached to, be it a country or a 
piece of land. 

And as here on earth, whatever has been acquired by 
exertion, perishes, so perishes whatever is acquired for 
the next world by sacrifices and other good actions 
performed on earth. Those who depart from hence 
without having discovered the Self and those true de- 
sires, for them there is no freedom in all the worlds. 
But those who depart from hence, after having dis- 
covered the Self and those true desires, for them there 
is freedom in all the worlds. 

Max Miiller, " Khandogya-upanishad," p. 126. 


The Keys of the Unseen 

Mohammedanism, like its later American parallel, Mor- 
monism, was a pre-eminently dynamic creed, less given to 
speculation than to action. " Think on the mercies of God, 
not on the essence of God " the Prophet taught. Five times 
daily, two hundred and twenty million Mohammedans kneel 
on their prayer carpets to invoke the Spirit who, as the Koran 
teaches, is the source of wisdom and knowledge. 

Admonish therewith those who fear that they shall 
be gathered unto their Lord; there is no patron for 
them but Him, and no intercessor ; haply they may fear. 

Repulse not those who call upon their Lord in the 
morning and in the evening, desiring His face; they 
have no reckoning against thee at all, and thou hast no 
reckoning against them at all ; — repulse them and thou 
wilt be of the unjust. 

So have we tried some of them by others, that they 
may say, Are these those unto whom God has been 
gracious amongst ourselves? Does not God know 
those who give thanks? 

And when those who believe in our signs come to 

thee, say, Peace be on you! God hath prescribed for 



Himself mercy; verily, he of you who does evil in 
ignorance, and then turns again and does right, — 
verily, He is forgiving and merciful. 

Thus do we detail our signs, that the way of the 
sinners may be made plain. . . . 

With Him are the keys of the unseen. None knows 
them save He; He knows what is in the land and in 
the sea ; and there falls not a leaf save that He knows 
it; nor a grain in the darkness of the earth, nor aught 
that is moist, nor aught that is dry, save that is in His 
perspicuous Book. 

He it is who takes you to Himself at night, and 
knows what ye have gained in the da}^ ; then He raises 
you up again, that your appointed time may be ful- 
filled ; then unto Him is your return, and then will He 
inform you of what ye have done. 

He triumphs over His servants; He sends to them 
guardian angels, until, when death comes to any one of 
you, our messengers take him away ; they pass not over 
any one, and then are they returned to God, their true 

E. H. Palmer, " Qur'an " (Koran), pt. 1, p. 121. 

Say: I am only a man like you. It is revealed to me 
that your God is one God; act uprightly, then, with 


Him, and implore His pardon. And woe to those who 
join gods with God. 

And if God had pleased He had surely made you all 
one people; but He would test you by what He hath 
given to each. Be emulous, then, in good deeds. To 
God do ye all return, and He will tell you concerning 
the subjects of your disputes. 

Mohammed is no more than an apostle; other 
apostles have already passed away before him; if, then, 
he die or be slain, will ye then turn upon your heels 
{i. e., relapse into idolatry) ? 

J. M. Rodwell, "Koran," Surah 41, 5; Surah 
6, 54; Surah 3, 138; Surah 2, 274. 



The Immanent God 

Analogous to the modern scientific conception of ether is the 
doctrine of God-immanent developed in the Bhagavadgita over 
two thousand years ago. 

I will declare that which is the object of knowledge, 
knowing which, one reaches immortality; the highest 
Brahman, having no beginning nor end, which cannot 
be said to be existent or non-existent. It has hands 
and feet on all sides, it has eyes, heads, and faces on all 
sides, it has ears on all sides, it stands pervading every- 
thing in the world. Possessed of the qualities of all 
the senses, but devoid of all senses, unattached, it sup- 
ports all, is devoid of qualities, and the enjoyer of 
qualities. It is within all things and without them ; it 
is movable and also immovable; it is unknowable 
through its subtlety; it stands afar and near. Not dif- 
ferent in different things, but standing as though dif- 
ferent, it should be known to be the supporter of all 

things, and that which absorbs and creates them. It is 



the radiance even of the radiant bodies ; it is said to be 
beyond darkness. It is knowledge, the object of 
knowledge, that which is to be attained to by knowl- 
edge, and placed in the heart of all. 

K T. Telang, " Bkagavadgita," p. 103. 




It remained for Buddhism in India to develop one practical 
human aspect of the foregoing philosophy, namely, that the 
interplay of individual personalities often affords illuminating 
insights into a larger field of consciousness. Unusually 
touching is the following instance of one of the Brethren 
converted by an old woman's piety. 

Now a certain woman, a distinguished follower of 
the faith, had for thirty years and more administered 
to the wants of the venerable Assagutta. And at the 
end of that rainy season she came one day to him, and 
asked whether there was any other brother staying 
with him. And when she was told that there was one, 
named Nagasena, she invited the Elder, and Nagasena 
with him, to take their midday meal the next day at her 
house. And the Elder signified, by silence, his con- 
sent. The next forenoon the Elder robed himself, and 
taking his bowl in his hand, went down, accompanied 

by Nagasena as his attendant, to the dwelling-place of 



that disciple, and there they sat down on the seats pre- 
pared for them. And she gave to both of them food, 
hard and soft, as much as they required, waiting upon 
them with her own hands. When Assagutta had fin- 
ished his meal, and the hand w^as withdrawn from the 
bowl, he said to Nagasena: '* Do thou, Nagasena, give 
the thanks to this distinguished lady." And, so say- 
ing, he rose from his seat, and went away. 

And the lady said to Nagasena: " I am old, friend 
Nagasena. Let the thanksgiving be from the deeper 
things of the faith." 

And Nagasena, in pronouncing the thanksgiving dis- 
course, dwelt on the profounder side of the Higher 
Law, not on matters of mere ordinary morality, but on 
those relating to perfect peace and calm. And as the 
lady sat there listening, there arose in her heart the In- 
sight into the Truth, clear and stainless, which per- 
ceives that whatsoever has beginning, that has the 
inherent quality of passing away. And Nagasena 
also, when he had concluded that thanksgiving dis- 
course, felt the force of the truths he himself had 
preached, and he too arrived at insight — ^he too en- 
tered, as he sat there, upon the stream, that is to say, 
upon the first stage of the Excellent Way. 

Then the venerable Assagutta, as he was sitting in 


his arbour, was aware that they both had attained to 
insight, and he exclaimed: "Well done! well done, 
Nagasena! by one arrow shot you have hit two noble 

quarries ! " 

T. W. Rhys Davids, "Questions of King 
Milinda," pt. 1, p. 24. 



Love to One's Neighbor, a Jew 

The central idea of the Masnavi of Jelal'uddin Rumi is that 
the only true basis of spiritual religion is love, and that all 
seeming faith and piety which do not grow from love profit 
nothing. Like all true mystics Jelal took a sacramental view 
of nature and human nature. The Masnavi has been called 
the " Divina Commedia " or " Paradise Lost " of Islam. 

Jelal was one day lecturing, when a young man of 
distinction came in, pushed his way, and took a seat 
higher up than an old man, one of the audience. 

Jelal at once remarked: " In days of yore it was the 
command of God, that, if any young man should take 
precedence of an elder, the earth should at once swal- 
low him up ; such being the divine punishment for that 
offence. It happened that one morning the Victorious 
Lion of God, AH, son of Abu-Talib, was hasting from 
his house to perform his devotions at dawn in the 
mosque of the Prophet. On his way, he overtook an 
old man, a Jew. Out of innate nobility and politeness 
of nature, he had respect for the Jew's age, and would 
not pass him, though the Jew's pace was slow. When 



Ali reached the mosque, the Prophet was already 
bowed down in his devotions, and was about to chant 
the " Gloria " ; but, by God's command, Gabriel came 
down, laid his hand on the Prophet's shoulder, and 
stopped him, lest Ali should lose the merit attaching to 
his being present at the opening of the dawn service; 
for it is more meritorious to perform that early service 
once, than to fulfil the devotions of a hundred years at 
other hours of the day. The Prophet has said: " The 
first act of reverence at dawn worship is of more value 
than the world and all that is therein.'* 

When the x\postle of God had concluded his wor- 
ship, offered up his customary prayers, and recited his 
usual lessons from the Koran, he turned, and asked of 
Gabriel the cause of his interruption. Gabriel replied 
that God had not seen fit that Ali should be deprived of 
the merit attaching to the performance of the first por- 
tion of the dawn worship, through the respect he had 
shov/n to the old Jew he had overtaken, but whom he 
would not pass. 

" Now," remarked Jelal, " when a saint like Ali 
showed so much respect for a poor old misbelieving 
Jew, and when God viewed his respectful consideration 
in so highly favorable a manner, you may all infer how 
He will view any honor and veneration shown to an 


elderly saint of approved piety, whose beard has grown 
grey in the service of God, and whose companions are 
the elect of their Maker, whose chosen servant he is; 
and what reward He will mete out in consequence. 
For, in truth, glory and power belong to God, to the 
Apostle, and to the believers, as God hath Himself de- 
clared * Unto God belongeth the power, and to the 
apostle, and to the believers.' " 

J. W. Redhouse, " Mcinevi." p. 40. 


The Spiritual Body 

In some of the occult Oriental cults there is a prevalent 
belief that by higher knowledge man can separate his soul or 
astral body from its physical counterpart and thus transcend 
the usual bourn of space and time. This passage from one 
of the ancient Upanishads might be cited as authority for such 
a dogma. 

This body is mortal and always held by death. It 
is the abode of that Self which is immortal and without 
body. When in the body, by thinking this body is I 
and I am this body, the Self is held by pleasure and 
pain. So long as he is in the body, he cannot get free 
from pleasure and pain. But when he is free of the 
body, when he knows himself different from the body, 
then neither pleasure nor pain touches him. 

The wind is without body, the cloud, lightning, and 
thunder are without body, without hands, feet, etc. 
Now as these, arising from this heavenly ether, appear 
in their own form, as soon as they have approached 
the highest light. 



Thus does that serene being, arising from this body, 
appear in its own form, as soon as it has approached 
the highest light, the knowledge of Self. He in that 
state is the highest person. He moves about there 
laughing or eating, playing and rejoicing in his mind, 
be it with women, carriages, or relatives, never mind- 
ing that body into which he was born. 

Max Muller, " Khandogya-upanishad," p. 140, 



The Holy Spirit 

In another Upanishad the following conversation is reported 
of Yagnavalkya and his wife, Maitreyi. Unlike the orthodox 
Moslems who are said to believe that women have no souls, 
the Brahmans taught that women were capable of spiritual 

Now if a man departs this life without having seen 
his true future Hfe in the Self, then that Self, not being 
known, does not receive and bless him, as if the Veda 
had not been read, or as if a good work had not been 
done. Nay, even if one who does not know that Self 
should perform here on earth some great holy work, it 
will perish for him in the end. Let a man worship the 
Self only as his true state. If a man worships the Self 
only as his true state, his work does not perish, for 
whatever he desires that he gets from that Self. . . . 

And Maitreyi said: "What should I do with that 

by which I do not become immortal ? What my Lord 

knoweth of immortality, tell that to me." 

Yagnavalkya replied : " Thou who art truly dear to 



me, thou speakest dear words. Come, sit down, I will 
explain it to thee, and mark well what I say. Verily, 
a husband is not dear, that you may love the husband ; 
but that you may love the Self, therefore a husband is 
dear. Verily, a wife is not dear, that you may love the 
wife ; but that you may love the Self, therefore a wife 
is dear. Verily, sons are not dear, that you may love 
the sons ; but that you may love the Self, therefore sons 
are dear. Verily, wealth is not dear, that you may 
love wealth; but that you may love the Self, therefore 
wealth is dear. 

" Verily, the Brahman-class is not dear, that you 
may love the Brahman-class ; but that you may love the 

" Verily, the Kshatra-class is not dear, that you may 
love the Kshatra-class ; but that you may love the Self. 

" Verily, the worlds are not dear, that you may love 
the worlds ; but that you may love the Self. 

" Verily, the angels are not dear, that you may love 
the angels ; but that you may love the Self. 

" Verily, creatures are not dear, that you may love 
the creatures ; but that you may love the Self. 

" Verily, everything is not dear that you may love 
everything; but that you may love the Self, therefore 
everything is dear. 


" Verily, the Self is to be seen, to be heard, to be 
perceived, to be marked, O Maitreyi! When we see, 
hear, perceive, and know the Self, then all this is 

Max Miiller, " Brihadaranyaka-upanishad," pp. 90, 109. 


Cosmic Consciousness 

Nirvana, greatest of Gotama's teachings, is a state attainable 
in this life by those who elect and persistently follow the 
Path. Nirvana is round us from our infancy, an encircling 
medium of which we grow aware only through religious 
enlightenment. It means the eternal within the temporal, 
cosmic consciousness, a heaven here and now. 

If thou art desirous of omniscience, direct thy at- 
tention to transcendent wisdom; then betake thyself to 
the wilderness and meditate on the pure law ; by it thou 
shalt acquire the transcendent faculties. 

The man catches the meaning, goes to the wilder- 
ness, meditates with the greatest attention, and, as he 
is endowed with good qualities, ere long acquires the 
five transcendent faculties. 

Similarly all disciples fancy having reached Nirvana, 
but the Gina instructs them by saying: This is a tem- 
porary repose, no final rest. 

It is an artifice of the Buddhas to enunciate this 

dogma. There is no real Nirvana without all-know- 

ingness ; try to reach this. 

The boundless knowledge of the three paths of time, 

1 20 


the six utmost perfections, voidness, the absence of 
purpose or object, the absence of finiteness; 

The idea of enhghtenment and the other laws lead- 
ing to Nirvana, both such as are mixed with imperfec- 
tion and such as are exempt from it, such as are tran- 
quil and comparable to ethereal space ; 

The four exercises to develop benevolence, compas- 
sion, cheerful sympathy, and equanimity, and the four 
articles of sociability, namely, liberality, affability, pro- 
moting another's interest, and pursuit of a common 
aim, as well as the laws sanctioned by eminent sages 
for the education of creatures ; 

He who knows these things and that all phenomena 
have the nature of illusion and dreams, that they are 
pithless as the stem of the plantain, and similar to an 
echo ; 

And who knows that the triple world throughout is 
of that nature, not fast and not loose, he knows rest. 

He who considers all laws to be alike, void, devoid 
of particularity and individuality, not derived from an 
intelligent cause ; nay, who discerns that nothingness is 

Such a one has great wisdom and sees the whole of 
the law entirely. There are no three vehicles by any 
means ; there is but one vehicle in this world. 


All laws or the laws of all are alike, equal, for all, 
and ever alike. Knowing this, one understands im- 
mortal, blest Nirvana. 

H. Kern, " Saddharma-pundarika," p. 139. 




Conscious Life 

The ordered beauty of the world of Nature suggests 
an infinite intelHgence with powers of action such as 
no man or other creature possesses, and evolution, 
which was so hotly contested by the theologians of a 
generation ago, suggests the beautiful conception of 
continued action, but when man commences to specu- 
late as to the nature of this intelligence which rules the 
universe, however much of a theologian he may be, he 
is driven back upon materialistic models, and his deity 
cannot rise above a perfected superman. In the pres- 
ent state of human evolution, even revelation from the 
deity could not conceivably take any other form than 
this, for man with such senses and experiences as he 
has been provided with, could not understand anything 

Science can readily strip away from any earlier sys- 
tem of religion, mythological accounts of creation 

which represent the state of natural knowledge when 


126 LIFE 

the system was growing, and can disprove or reject 
accounts of natural phenomena which are now known 
clearly to be errors, but when this has all been done the 
real kernel still remains in any religious system worthy 
of the name. Man is still left venerating the great 
causes of creation, and worshipping at the shrine of an 
infinite and all-powerful creator. Nor is it any bar to 
this worship that he possesses no rigorous proof nor 
exact knowledge in terms of material things. The 
mysticism only stimulates devotion, and urges him on- 
wards towards higher realization of divinity and ideal- 
ization of all that is highest in the deity that he personi- 
fies and worships. 

To such a worshipper every scientific advance 
brings only a more beautiful appreciation of the divine 
in nature, and he strains upwards towards it in his own 
life, and is impelled by his religion to a nobility of life 
and character, which could scarcely arise in any other 

If this attribute of mind, to recognize something as 
the highest in the whole range of consciousness which 
compels the mind towards its highest efforts, exists in 
millions of the most highly developed of mankind there 
must be some cause for it other than ignorance. 
Surely it is part of mental evolution towards the high- 

LIFE 127 

est — an intensification of that same process which led 
creation up from undifferentiated matter through the 
long course of organic evolution to man. Man has 
now become aware of this organic evolution, and there 
is a consciousness developing in regard to it and mak- 
ing for social progress, which is rapidly becoming the 
latest and highest development of religion. Environ- 
ment, acting as a directing and selecting power upon 
mutable forms of matter, and lasting through long 
epochs of time, finally brought man upon the earth; 
purely material environment cannot raise him higher, 
but in religion in the true sense of the word, increased 
and intensified by a study of the mind, and of our re- 
lationship and duties towards other minds, we see thit 
factor in our environment which will lead us on to 
higher things. 

The fact that the creature actually in process of evo- 
lution has gained consciousness of his own evolution 
will give a definite purpose to his whole social system 
as a community, and will enormously increase the 
velocity in future generations of the process of evolu- 

Benj. Moore, "The Origin and Nature of Life," 
p. 23 ff., N. Y., 1912. (Copyright, Henry Holt 
& Co.) 


What is Your Life? It is Even as a Vapor 

Life's apparent impermanence, its mysteries of origin and 
purpose, the inexplicable balance of forces which maintain it 
for a little while, — all this caused the upreachin^ mind of all 
races to grope toward the light. The Alahabharata sings of 
this age-long enigma. 

The body — is it not like foam 

The tossing wave an instant cresting? 

In it the spirit, bird-like, resting, 

Soon flies to seek another home. 

In this thy frail abode, so dear. 

How canst thou slumber free from fear? 

Why dost thou not wake up, when all 
Thy watchful enemies ever seek 
To strike thee there where thou art weak, 
To bring about thy longed-for fall? 

Thy days are numbered, — all apace 

Thy years roll on, — thy powers decay. 

Why dost thou vainly then delay, 

And not arise, and haste awav 

To some unchanging dwelling-place? 


LIFE 129 

The Watchtoiver of Wisdom 

As men who climb a hill behold 
The plain beneath them all unrolled, 
And thence with searching eye survey 
The crowds that pass along the way, 
So those on wisdom's mount who stand 
A lofty vantage-ground command. 
They thence can scan the world below, 
Immersed in error, sin and woe; 
Can mark how mortals vainly grieve. 
The true reject, the false receive. 
The good forsake, the bad embrace. 
The substance flee and shadows chase. 
But none who have not gained that height, 
Can good and ill discern aright. 

What Determines the Character of Actions 

'Tis from the soul, the man within. 
That actions all their value win; 
No outward state, whate'er it be. 
Affects an action's quality. 


Would he not sin, a Brahman sage 
Who slew within a hermitage? 
Bring gifts no fruit, howe'er profuse, 
Unless bestowed by a recluse? 

J. Muir, " Metrical Translationi from Sanskrit 
Writers," p. 26. 


Life and Death 

To mystics life and death are equally transitory, being part 
of a larger cycle. To the Taoists immoriaiity is more than a 
mere word. 

Life is a state which follows upon Death. Death 
is a state which precedes Life. Which of us under- 
stands the laws that govern their succession? 

The life of man is the resultant of forces. The ag- 
gregation of these forces is life ; their dispersion, death. 
If, then, Life and Death are but consecutive states of 
existence, what cause for sorrow have I? 

And so it is that all things are but phases of unity. 
What men delight in is the spiritual essence of life. 
What they loathe is the material corruption of death. 
But this state of corruption gives place to that state of 
spirituality, and that state of spirituality gives place in 
turn to this state of corruption. Therefore we may 
say that all in the universe is comprised in unity; and 
therefore the inspired among us have adopted unity as 
their criterion. 

H. A. Giles, " Gems from Chinese L,iterature/' p. 21. 


A Mohammedan Legend 

Because Jesus treated religion and life as one and the same 
thing, the vitality of his faith impressed those Mohammedans 
to whom his non-sectarian appeal came in terms not of 
theology but of healing. 

*' The house of Jesu was the banquet of men of heart, 

Ho! afflicted one, quit not this door! 

From all sides the people ever thronged. 

Many blind and lame, and halt and afflicted, 

To the door of the house of Jesu at dawn, 

That with his breath he might heal their ailments. 

As soon as he had finished his orisons. 

That holy one would come forth at the third hour; 

He viewed those impotent folk, troop by troop, 

Sitting at his door in hope and expectation ; 

He spoke to them, saying, ' O stricken ones ! 

The desires of all of you have been granted by God ; 

Arise, walk without pain or affliction, 

Acknowledge the mercy and beneficence of God! * 

Then all, as camels whose feet are shackled, 


LIFE 133 

When you loose their feet in the road, 
Straightway rush in joy and delight to the halting- 
So did they run upon their feet at his command." 

S. M. Zwemer, " The Moslem Christ." 

And it is not for a believer, man or woman, to have 
any choice in their affairs, when God and His Apostle 
have decreed a matter; and whoever disobeyeth God 
and His Apostle hath erred with palpable error. 

J. M. Rodwell, " Koran," Surah 33, 37. 


Nearer te the Source of Life 

That spiritual life is just as real as physical life is pro- 
claimed by Hsuan-yang Zze (1280-1367 A. D.), a follower of 
the Tao and a contemporary of Dante. 

The Heaven-honored One says, " All you, Heaven- 
endowed men, who wish to be instructed about the 
Perfect Tao, the Perfect Tao is very recondite, and by 
nothing else but Itself can it be described. Since ye 
wish to hear about it, ye cannot do so by the hearing of 
the ear; — that which eludes both the ears and eves is 

' ml 

the True Tao; what can be heard and seen perishes, 

and only this survives. There is much that you have 

not yet learned, and especially you have not acquired 

this ! Till you have learned what the ears do not hear, 

how can the Tao be spoken about at all? " 

The Heaven-honored One says, " Sincerity is the 

first step towards the knowledge of the Tao; it is by 

silence that that knowledge is maintained; it is with 

gentleness that the Tao is employed. The employment 


LIFE 135 

01 sincerity looks like stupidity; the employment of 
silence looks like difficulty of utterance; the employ- 
ment of gentleness looks like want of ability. But 
having attained to this, you may forget all bodily 
form ; you may forget your personality ; you may for- 
get that you are forgetting.'* 

" He who has taken the first steps towards the 
knowledge of the Tao knows where to stop; he who 
maintains the Tao in himself knows how to be dili- 
gently vigilant ; he who employs It knows what is most 

" When one knows what is most subtle, the light of 
intelligence grows around him ; when he can know how 
to be diligently vigilant, his sage wisdom becomes com- 
plete ; when he knows where to stop, he is grandly com- 
posed and restful. 

" When he is grandly composed and restful, his sage 
wisdom becomes complete ; when his sage wisdom be- 
comes complete, the light of intelligence grows around 
him ; when the light of intelligence grows around him, 
he is one with the Tao. 

" This is the condition which is styled the True For- 
getfulness; — a forgetting which does not forget; a for- 
getting of what cannot be forgotten. 
. " That which cannot be forgotten is the True Tao. 


136 LIFE 

The Tao is in heaven and earth, but heaven and earih 
are not conscious of It. Whether It seem to have 
feehngs or to be without them, It is always one and 
the same." 

J. IvCgge, Yu Shu King, "The Classic of the 
Pivot of Jade," texts of Taoism, pt. 2, p. 265. 



The Stuff of the World and the Fountain of Creation 

The Persian mystics conceive of physical life as a necejssary 
basis for the higher life of the Spirit. Thus a human body is 
but a wonderful apparatus for the evolution of a soul. They 
view all life as but ripples of the imperishable substance of 

Every form you see has its archetype in the placeless 
world ; 

If the form perished, no matter, since its original is 

Every fair shape you have seen, every deep saying you 
have heard, 

Be not cast down that it perished ; for that is not so. 

Whereas the spring-head is undying, its branch gives 
water continually ; 

Since neither can cease, why are you lamenting? 

Conceive the Soul as a fountain, and these created 
things as rivers: 

While the fountain flows, the rivers run from it. 

Put grief out of your head and keep quaffing this river- 


138 LIFE 

Do not think of the water failing; for this water is 
without end. 

From the moment you came into the world of being, 

A ladder was placed before you that you might escape. 

First you were mineral, later you turned to plant, 

Then you became animal: how should this be a secret 
to you? 

Afterwards you were made man, with knowledge, rea- 
son, faith; 

Behold the body, which is a portion of the dust-pit, 
how perfect it has grown ! 

When you have travelled on from man, you will doubt- 
less become an angel: 

After that you are done with this earth: your station is 
in heaven. 

Pass again even from angelhood: enter the ocean, 

That your drop may become a sea which is a hundred 
seas of " Oman." 

Leave this " Son," say ever " One " with all your soul ; 

If your body has aged, what matter, when the soul is 
young ? 

R. A. Nicholson, "Divani Shamsi Tabriz," p. 47. 



This sufi conception is not wholly original to Asia Minor, since 
it is akin to the Upanishad doctrine of India and has affinities 
with Neo-platonism and even with some early Christian 
mysticism. Thus one spiritual life pulses through all human 
intellects the world over. 

The knowing Self is not born, it dies not; it sprang 
from nothing, nothing sprang from it. The Ancient 
is unborn, eternal, everlasting; he is not killed, though 
the body is killed. 

If the killer thinks that he kills, if the killed thinks 
that he is killed, they do not understand; for this one 
does not kill, nor is that one killed. 

The Self, smaller than small, greater than great, is 
hidden in the heart of that creature. A man who is 
free from desires and free from grief sees the majesty 
of the Self by the grace of the Creator. 

Though sitting still, he walks far; though lying 

down, he goes everywhere. Who, save myself, is able 

to know that God who rejoices and rejoices not ? 


140 LIFE 

The wise who knows the Self as bodiless within the 
bodies, as unchanging among changing things, as great 
and omnipresent, does never grieve. 

That Self cannot be gained by the Sacred Book nor 
by understanding, nor by much learning. He whom 
the Self chooses, by him the Self can be gained. The 
Self chooses him (his body) as his own. 

But he who has not first turned away from his wick- 
edness, who is not tranquil, and subdued, or whose 
mind is not at rest, he can never obtain the Self even 
by knowledge. 

Who then knows where He is, He to whom all 
classes are, as it were, but food, and death itself a con- 
diment ? 

Know the Self to be sitting in the chariot, the body 
to be the chariot, the intellect the charioteer, and the 
mind the reins. 

The senses they call the horses, the objects of the 
senses their roads. When he, the Highest Self, is in 
union with the body, the senses, and the mind, then 
wise people call him the Enjoyer. 

He who has no understanding and whose mind, the 
reins, is never firmly held, his senses, horses, are un- 
manageable, like vicious horses of a charioteer. 

But he who has understanding and whose mind is 

LIFE 141 

always firmly held, his senses are under control, like 
good horses of a charioteer. 

He who has no understanding, who is unmindful 
and always impure, never reaches that place, but enters 
into the round of births. 

But he who has understanding, who is mindful and 
always pure, reaches indeed that place, from whence 
he is not born again. 

But he who has understanding for his charioteer, 
and who holds the reins of the mind, he reaches the 
end of his journey, and that is the highest place of 

Beyond the senses there are the objects, beyond the 
objects there is the mind, beyond the mind there is the 
intellect, the Great Self is beyond the intellect. 

That Self is hidden in all beings and does not shine 
forth, but it is seen by subtle seers through their sharp 
and subtle intellect. 

Max Miiller, " Katha-upanishad," p. 11. 


The Pulse of Life 

Even when all is over, it will begin again, this life-process, 
whether here or on a distant planet in some unknown cranny 
of boundless space. Mankind is subject also, perhaps, to the 
same indefinite renewal. And thus the untutored Maori of 
New Zealand stand on the same shore of limitless wonder as 
the greatest seers and scientists present or past. 

Seeking, earnestly seeking in the gloom. 

Searching — yes, on the coastline — 

On the bounds of light of day. 

Looking into night 

Night had conceived 

The seed of night. 

The heart, the foundation of night, 

Had stood forth the self -existing 

Even in the gloom — 

The sap and succulent parts, 

The life pulsating, 

And the cup of life. 

The shadows screen 

The faintest gleam of light 

The procreating power, 


LIFE 143 

The ecstasy of life first known. 

And joy of issuing forth, 

From silence into sound, 

Thus the progeny 

Of the Great extending 

Filled the heaven's expanse ; 

The chorus of life 

Rose and swelled into ecstasy, 

Then rested 

In bliss of calm and quiet. 

J. White, "Ancient History of the Maori," Vol. 1, 
p. 152. (Quoted in R. B. Nixon, "Oceanic 
Mythology," " Mythology of All Races/' Vol. 
9, p. 27, Boston, 1916.) 

r;'"" III I m"!!",'"""' Semmary-Speer 


1 1012 01031 4948 



'n '!]''' 


; ':, } 

' .' ' '